Vintage Book Look: Finding inspiration and lessons in craft books of old
My phone rang, I moaned and dug it out of my bag (little known secret, I hate phone calls). When I saw it was my dear friend my attitude instantly changed. “Hi Linda, what’s up?”
“I’m so glad you answered! I’m here, in this amazing thrift shop, and they have all these vintage craft books. Do you want them? Here, let me read you the titles.” She sounded like she found the mother-load, her voice had that excited this-is-the-best-thing-ever quiver to it. Of course I said yes to every book she mentioned. How could I ever turn down “Sewing Knits – menswear” or “Stitch by Stitch volumes 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7?” I could not.
Sometimes I’ll make projects from vintage book patterns (they are often made with unknown sizing changes and bizarre-o standards). And I do regularly use them as a source of inspiration, laughter, and general silly making in the studio.
(love that cow cover)
(oh my gosh, look at those targets! But I do love those chairs)
Sometimes though, you find one, like the “Dressmaker’s Dictionary” circa 1943 that is a true gem of techniques and practical advice.
(“come knit me baby” should be the title of this book, yikes! I like the yoke though, just not the lacing, see, inspiration!)
(oh my gosh that kid does not look excited about having to even touch that clown. But check out that amazing patchwork quilt on the bed though! Lovely!)
I’m an odd duck in the way that I actually read vintage craft books cover to cover. I love the writing along with the patterns. Some are easier to digest then others. The “Dressmaker’s Dictionary” is definitely a more technical piece of crafting literature.
(sometimes you find a little book like this tucked into a larger book, which is always a treat)
(I actually really like this sweater and just might end up making it)
What’s your favorite vintage book? Do you tend to read them cover to cover or flip through for pictorial inspiration and laughs?